THE ARTIST AS ORGANIC REVOLUTIONARY
by Dwayne Edward Rourke - Skywalker Studio - Cortes Island - BC
I first came to Cortes Island in 1991 as an invited participant in Hollyhock Farm's Millenial conference titled: Bringing Magic To The Mainstream. Deeply moved by both what I experienced at Hollyhock, and by the quality of life I enjoyed here on the island, I imagined someday living on Cortes. Now, more than ten years later, and three years since first declaring my citizenship here, I can think of no place on Earth I would rather be than Cortes Island.. And aware as I am, of the grievous atrocities wrought by this island's namesake, it occurs to me that there is nowhere on the planet more suitable than this, for the redemption of what his name has come to represent. Mass murder, torture, violence, rape, exploitation, genocide. These are but a few of the words used to describe the actions of Hernan Cortes and his cohorts as they plundered their way to glory in the first wave of what was to become a storm of aggressive colonial expansion into the Americas.
Redemption can take many forms and one I believe is very well suited to Cortes is exemplified by the Mesoamerican myth of Feathered Serpent/Quetzalcoatl. This is because it is a "myth of eternal return", one that focuses on cyclic renewal, artistic creativity, benevolence and love. For centuries, it has inspired passionate creativity in a vast number of people, from all walks of life. In our own era, its spirit has been broadly perpetuated by art historian, educator and visionary artist, Jose Arguelles, founder of the first Earth Day celebration and of the 1987 worlwide event, Harmonic Convergence (itself a celebration of the return of Feathered Serpent). In The Organic Revolutionary's Handbook, a small booklet written in honor of the myth of the Feathered Serpent, Jose' provides a theory of revolution applicable to our collective situation at this time:
There are three kinds/levels of Revolution:
1) Pure destruction: carried out by blind catabolic energies; unavoidable and inevitable.
2) "Maya mud-pies : the shifting of power from one base to another; illusory change
3) Mystic or Organic Revolution : total mind/body transformation of seed-base extending outward.
The thoughtful artist is, of course, well stationed to engage in the third type of revolution. He or she already represents a "seed-base extending outward". The question is: What will be the quality of the plant that eventually grows from that seed? Will it address the true needs of humanity? If it is to fulfill a revolutionary role within the culture, will it engage the artist ever-more deeply in a process of transmutation of his or her basic nature? Will the artist become a true re-volutionary, as described by Arguelles? :
Re-volution is the process of going from one (exhausted) manifestation of the will, to a new manifestation of the will.
Revolt is a corruption of Revolute
To revolute is first of all to return to the center of the will, to the center of the life-force, which is essential being--simply being. It is to become simple again, unburdened by the weight of the previous manifestation of the will.
Thus Revolution is Life Renewed.
To reach the New, leave the Old.
The most crux-ial process in Re-volution is cruxifixion.
The true Revolutionary is one
who is able to cruxify himself by stripping his being
of all the old processes, imprints and antagonisms
in order to reach the center of being
and thus be able to be reborn
and begin anew.
The most thorough revolutionary is by nature
The true Revolutionary is a Seed of the New . In being a Seed, he fulfills the purpose of Organic Revolution.
The path of the artist-as-revolutionary need not be a lonely one. Let those of us drawn to it, find ways and means of supporting each other to co-create a magnificant, ever-broadening seed-base of love and compassion, in joyful harmony with the natural world. Ho!
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